A Hale benefit cheat falsely claimed more than £24,000 after failing to tell the council she was living in property owned by her father-in-law.
At Manchester Crown Court Saika Khalid of Old Meadow Lane, Hale, formerly of Hale Road, Altrincham, was convicted of dishonestly obtaining housing benefit from Trafford Council totalling £24,664.55.
Ms Khalid, 35, had declared that she was renting a room in a house on Hale Road, but she failed to declare that her landlord was her father-in-law and it was deemed that the tenancy was not commercial.
This resulted in an overpayment of benefit between September 2008 and May 2012.
Executive Councillor for Finance, Councillor Patrick Myers said “Once again Trafford Council's determination to clamp down on benefit fraudsters has led to another successful prosecution. This kind of illegal activity will not be tolerated and the Council will use the courts to bring those found to be benefiting from money to which they are not entitled to justice. People must realise that if they provide inaccurate information when they submit their claims, or fail to advise us of changes in their circumstances and subsequently receive money fraudulently, the consequences will be extremely serious for them.”
Khalid had entered a guilty plea at a previous hearing and was sentenced to 24 weeks in custody, suspended for one year and with a requirement to observe a four month curfew between 9pm to 6am with an electronic tag.
She also has to pay £450 towards the cost of the prosecution.
Trafford Council is also recovering all of the monies that were obtained as a result of the offence.
Council counter fraud officers were alerted to the matter as a result of an anonymous referral. Further investigation uncovered the truth about Khalid’s relationship to her landlord.